Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake

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This Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake is an incredibly moist Kahlua chocolate cake made from scratch that is soaked in more chocolate and Kahlua! It’s topped with fresh Kahlua whipped cream and is truly an indulgent treat!

Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake

Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe

Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake recipe

If you are a lover of Kahlua, then there’s no doubt that you will love this cake. It was a major hit in our home with friends and family. Between all the chocolate, Kahlua and such a moist chocolate cake, it’s heaven in a pan!

Not to mention that the homemade chocolate cake used for the base is not only moist and amazing itself, it’s also incredibly easy to put together. The whole dessert comes together quite quickly and easily for such a tasty cake.

To get started with the Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake, you’ll combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients (minus the water) separately. Included in the wet ingredients is a whole half cup of Kahlua! Lots of Kahlua flavor in here! Combine them all together, then add the water. Don’t be alarmed when you see that the batter is very thin. It’s supposed to be. This is one majorly moist cake, which means there’s a lot of moisture and liquid that goes into it.

Another thing to not be alarmed by is the low baking temperature. It’s not an error. The cake bakes at 300 degrees. It’s a slow bake cake that’s worth every second of waiting. It’s also the base of my very favorite Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes, which are always a hit.

serving of Kahlua Chocolate Poke CakeBest Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake

After the cake has baked, poke it all over with holes. I like to use a knife sharpening rod, but something similar would work as well. Common alternatives are thick straws or the handle of a wooden spoon.

Heat the sweetened condensed milk and another half cup of Kahlua and pour the mixture over the chocolate chips. The heat from the mixture will melt the chocolate and then it’s all poured over the cake.

Allow the mixture to seep into the holes in the cake, using a spatula to spread it around, if needed.

Next you’ll want to allow the cake to cool completely in the fridge. Once it’s ready, you’ll add the whipped cream on top. It’s a lightly Kahlua flavored whipped cream that compliments the richness of the cake perfectly. Be sure to use the full amount of powdered sugar, as that is what adds stability to the whipped cream.

This Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake is finished off with some mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. A simple cake in presentation, but totally over-the-top in flavor! Loads of chocolate, loads of Kahlua and moist and delicious for days! It’s a wonderful cake to eat on a random Tuesday night or take to a potluck to share with friends. Just depends on how generous you’re feeling. 😉

Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake slice on white plateFavorite Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake serving

You might also like:

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake
Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake
Kahlua Coffee Brownie Cheesecake
Kahlua Ice Cream Pie
Kahlua Coffee Cake
Homemade Kahlua

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close up of Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake

Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake is an incredibly rich, moist Kahlua chocolate cake made from-scratch that is soaked in more chocolate and Kahlua! It’s topped with Kahlua whipped cream!



  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) Kahlua Liqueur, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) boiling water
  • 1 cup (240ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup (127g) semi sweet chocolate chips


  • 2 cups (480) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (29g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) Kahlua Liqueur, optional
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sauce


1. Prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan by greasing the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine.
3. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of Kahlua and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Slowly pour the water into the batter, mixing well and being careful of splashing.
5. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over. I use a knife sharpening rod, but you could also use a straw.
7. While the cake is still warm, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
8. Add the sweetened condensed milk and remaining 1/2 cup of Kahlua to a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat heat the condensed milk and Kahlua until they begin to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips.
9. Whisk the chocolate until smooth, then immediately pour over the cake, spreading it into the holes. Don’t let the mixture sit before pouring it over the cake or it’ll start to thicken and not soak in the holes as well.
10. Set the cake in the fridge to cool and soak.
11. When the cake has cooled, add the ingredients for the whipped cream topping to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
12. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cake. Top the cake with mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 632
  • Sugar: 57.2 g
  • Sodium: 375.4 mg
  • Fat: 32.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.5 g
  • Protein: 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 69.4 mg

Keywords: Poke Cake, Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake, Kahlua Cake, boozy poke cake, best chocolate kahlua cake

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Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake collage-two images of servings

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  1. Ashtin

    I’ve made this before as directed and it got rave reviews. But this time, I’m making it for someone who can’t have alcohol due to their medications. Can you just substitute brewed coffee for Kahlua in this cake, or no?

      1. Ashtin

        I followed your instructions on using extra milk in the cake batter in place of Kahlua and replacing the boiling water with coffee (heated until boiling in the microwave). I also replaced the Kahlua with coffee in the soaking liquid 1:1, and added just a splash of coffee into the whipped cream, and it came out just as decadent as the first time, just without the booziness. My coffee-hating family loved it- they couldn’t even taste the coffee, and thought it just tasted like a really rich chocolate cake. Guess that was just enough coffee to intensify the chocolate. Thanks so much!

        Additionally, I made a half-batch in my 8×8 square pan, and if anyone else is wondering about bake time like I was, it takes exactly the same amount of time as a full 9×13 pan.

    1. Lindsay

      Replace the kahlua in the cake with additional milk, the Kahlúa in the chocolate mixture on top with additional sweeten condensed milk and I would just leave it out of the whipped cream.

  2. Terri

    I made this for our first post-Covid gathering and it was a hit! I used dark chocolate cocoa and Bailey’s chips. It had an extra layer of adult dessert.

  3. Rachel

    Hi Lindsay,

    This is a fabulous cake!! If I wanted to stabilize this whipped cream using gelatin, would I need to make any changes to the whipped cream recipe? And how much gelatin would I use?

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoyed it! I’m not sure how to advise on gelatin because I haven’t ever used it in whipped cream. This whipped cream should be stable without it.

      1. Rachel

        Thanks, Lindsay! Do you think it would be stable even at room temperature for about 2.5 hours of car traveling? If so I won’t add gelatin, I just don’t want it to melt!

  4. Carol

    Great recipe but wanted something fancier for a birthday cake, so I reduced quantities to 2/3 and made it in my 9″ spring form pan. It was beautiful moist and rich.

  5. Hope

    Hello! I’m planning on making this cake for a friend’s birthday later this month. I tried the recipe today as a test run and something went wrong. After 45 minutes in the oven the cake was still liquid. So I left it in for another 15 minutes. The edges are cooked and pulled away from the pan but the middle is still raw. It has also completely collapsed after being out of the oven for 5 minutes.
    I have no idea what went wrong – I followed all the directions for the batter. 
    When I cook it again should I try at a higher oven temp?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t ever had that happen, so it’s hard to say. It sounds like a measurement of something might have been off. You might also check your baking soda and make sure it’s still good.

  6. Rosie

    I only have a glass 13×9 pan so I reduced the oven temperature to 275 degrees, but when I made the cake in it the center isn’t cooked! Do you have any suggestions?

  7. Jessica

    Can I use a cake mix and just add kahlua and do I also add the boiling water? I have a lot to make and looking to save time. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Lindsay

      You can use a cake mix, but will want to follow those instructions for the cake. I imagine you could substitute some of the liquid in those ingredients for Kahlua.

  8. Angela DeLoach

    I made this cake for a pre wedding party. It was a huge hit! So good! I made my own chocolate sauce for the drizzle for finishing touch. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much for the recipe. I will definitely make this again!

  9. Mason

    Have you ever done a gluten free version of this cake?? My brother and I wanna make it and he cannot have gluten, just wondering if you have any advice on how to substitute and If i only need to substitute gf baking flour for the flour portion

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t, I’m sorry. I don’t know a whole lot about gluten free baking, so I’d hesitate to advise.

  10. Pamela Barnes

    I haven’t made this cake yet, but I am having a little trouble with step eight. The directions say to put milk and “cream” in microwave safe measuring cup. What cream? Should it be sweetened condensed milk and “Kailua? ” then pour over chocolate chips. Just want to make sure I’m not missing here! Congratulations also on your up coming new addition. I’m sure all of you will enjoy your precious little girl.

  11. Xenia D

    If I wanted to make this smaller (such as a smaller round or 6×6 square) would I halve the recipe, or do some things like eggs etc have to stay in certain amounts? Thanks so much, VERY excited to make this!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t made this cake in that size, but I would think you should be able to cut it in half. I just think an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 would fit that amount of batter better.

  12. Rachel

    Can I make this cake a couple of days ahead and leave it in the refrigerator (as opposed to the freezer like someone else asked) or will it dry out? And can I make the whipped cream in advance (2 days) or does that need to be made closer to serving? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, the whole thing could be made a couple days in advance and stored in the fridge. I would just cover it well.

  13. Joe

    This is the absolute best cake I’ve ever eaten!!! A tall glass of cold milk and a big piece of this cake… total bliss!

  14. Holly

    I think this turned out great. 
    I forgot to add the 3/4 cup of boiling water. I was in a rush and wasn’t paying close enough attention. Anyways, the cake still came out good. It was more of a thick gooey brownie consistency. 
     I used a fork to make holes for the sauce. I don’t think I did the best job at that either lol. However, it’s going to be smothered in homemade whip cream, so who cares. 

    Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Kelsie

    I LIUUUUURVE this cake!! And it’s so easy even my partner can make it. I requested this for my birthday this year as I hate having to make my own cakes!! It’s deelish! My mum who doesn’t really like cake even likes it and I gave some leftover to my work mate and her partner and they raves about it👌

      1. Lindsay

        There’s debate as to whether the alcohol cooks out or not. I’d say that’s a personal decision, but I probably wouldn’t give it to my kids.

  16. Carol

    This cake looks delicious! I want to make this for Superbowl and I have a lot of food to prepare. Is it possible to make the cake part of this a few days prior and then make the whipped topping later (e.g., the morning of the party)? If I do make the cake a few days prior, can I freeze it? Thank you

  17. Meredith

    Hello! I am making this tomorrow. Would you recommend leaving it in the pan and serving it that way, or do I take it out at some point? Looks SO delicious! 🙂

  18. James

    Hi Lindsay, under the Ingredients list, one of your ingredient call-out this “1 cup (240ml) Kahlua Liqueur, divided”, what does divided means? What do I need to do? Thanks James.

    1. Lindsay

      It means that you don’t use all at once. ½ is added to cake before baking and the other ½ added after baking with the chocolate chips.

  19. Kathy

    This cake should be named Heaven. So rich and wonderful to eat. I will eagerly make this today. I applaud you…literally.

  20. Caron

    OMG I think I just found my soulmate. ♥♥♥ This cake WILL be made in my kitchen soon. You are an incredible woman to grace us with this!! Thank you!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29